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The Maine’s summer 2013 album Forever Halloween is chalk full of solid indie rock tracks, but it falls short for those of us who are stuck in their Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop days.
Forever Halloween is The Maine’s fourth studio album, debuting at 39 on the Billboard 200. The album is their second self-funded release since their departure from Warner Bros. Records. Forever Halloween certainly gives off an independent vibe, even more so than their 2011 album Pioneer.
The Maine has experimented with different sounds throughout their career, starting with the upbeat pop-punk sound of Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop and now leaning towards a mellower alt rock vibe with Forever Halloween.
My personal favorite from Forever Halloween is the title track. The song has an almost My Chemical Romance “Welcome to the Black Parade” feel. I was waiting for “Forever Halloween” to pick up into a faster tempo, but instead it transitioned into a whiney guitar solo. All in all, it’s a good song, with John O’Callaghan singing, “We’re all monsters / living in a dream” and “So you be brave and / I’ll still be eighteen.”
The most disappointing song on the album is “Take What You Can Carry” with its biblical, sing-song chorus, “Take what you can carry / Joseph and Mary.” Besides the annoying overly-rhymed words, the biblical reference didn’t work with the other lyrics about “media, celebrities” and “my children will be shining / covered in diamonds.” My only guess is they were trying to compare poverty and fame. Either way, the metaphor, along with the song, fell flat.
In general, all 11 tracks on Forever Halloween had a downbeat feel. They were good for what they were, but not what I wanted out of The Maine. Maybe it’s just me, but with every new release, I wait with baited breath for The Maine to return to their Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop sound. But hey, why should they listen to the fans – in this case, the boys do what they want.